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Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 17, Issue 8, pp 1101–1107 | Cite as

Non-disclosure of cancer diagnosis: an examination of personal, medical, and psychosocial factors

  • Csaba L. Dégi
Original Article

Abstract

Objectives

In recent psycho-oncological literature, few studies are concerned with the consequences of cancer diagnosis non-disclosure. The aims of this study were to analyze factors that may explain the non-disclosure of cancer diagnosis to patients by physicians and to compare personal characteristics of cancer patients, on the basis of cancer diagnosis disclosure versus non-disclosure.

Methods

A total of 420 hospitalized cancer patients were included in our study; 342 with malignant and 78 with benign tumors. Two hundred thirty-eight women and 185 men completed a self-report questionnaire that included standardized measures of depressive symptoms (BDI), hopelessness, ways of coping, negative life events and anomie. Data were controlled for demographic, medical, and psychosocial factors.

Results

Malignant cancer (OR:11.88), severe and moderate depression (OR:10.57 and OR:4.81), lack of chemotherapy (OR:4.20) and low anomie (OR:2.77) after overall adjustment predicted cancer diagnosis non-disclosure to patients.

Conclusion

Our results underline the persistent need for delivering patient-focused health services in oncological care based on respect for the patients’ right to autonomy.

Keywords

Cancer diagnosis Non-disclosure Depression Patient-focused care 

Notes

Acknowledgment

The author would like to express his greatest gratitude to Professor Ellen Csikai PhD for her assistance in editing this manuscript and for her useful comments on the manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Behavioral SciencesSemmelweis UniversityBudapestHungary

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